Sunday, June 05, 2005

The story of a broken mirror

I was having a wonderful Sunday. After a certifiably mediocre weekend, my Sunday took a turn for the better. Breakfast with a good friend. A lunch date on the the Plaza. I headed home to mow the lawn (mowing is not fun for me, but the freshly-shorn rows of grass set a great mood for a Sunday evening on the porch with wine and a cigar). Then, it happened.

I knocked a mirror on my bathroom floor and it cracked into pieces. Seven years bad luck, according to my grandmother. And here's the applicability to the contents of my blog: I do everything I can to steer away from superstition, but my worldview and the stories I've been told since birth are too powerful for me not to get a little freaked out. No matter how level headed I am, the story is under my skin. I'll be 32 before I can shake the bad luck. For seven years, a small part of me will wonder if, during a stroke of bad luck, I charted this course when I busted my mirror.

I pulled out my laptop and tried to stay a safe distance from anything that might harm me and qualify as the first in a string of bad luck instances. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm enjoying All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin. I'm trying to apply it to my current work, and it's paying off. Media relations is made better by first-person storytelling. Client relationships are bettered over the phone or face to face, with an element of personal contact and discourse on non-professional topics.

If the breaking of a bathroom mirror could cause reflection grounded only in years of baseless storytelling, a keener attention to storytelling on a professional level sure couldn't hurt. Might even result in some good luck. Here's to the start of my week.


Anonymous Sara said...

Lucky for you, it is a pagan superstition. Here's a brief history of the origin of this myth.

"There are many variations on the superstition and the explanations. Most of the origins have to do with the reflection in the mirror representing the soul and the soul being damaged in the breaking. It is unclear whether the bad luck follows directly from damage to the soul, or whether the soul is less capable - in its damaged state - of defending the breaker from misfortune.

Many Romans believed every person was remade new every seven years. So if the damage was done to your soul today it would take seven years to be undamaged. Given the Romans beliefs regarding the role of their immortal self in defending their mortal life, it is at least likely that they believed their soul was less capable of defending them.

"In some forms, the superstition predates the Romans. It even predates breakable mirrors, all the way back to scrying pools. So this is one very long-lived superstition."

Supposedly, there are a number of "remedies" to this "curse," such as lighting seven white candles on the night you break the mirror or burying the pieces outside under a full moon. But I have a feeling you'll be alright without any of these "cures."

3:57 PM  

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